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Why A Mobile App Inspection Is The Best Protection From Terrible Tenants

Property Manager Guides
Lydia Winkler
June 19, 2019
3 mins

A new tenant is moving into your rental property. You’re happy to have the unit rented and have the income stream continue. Yet with every new tenant, there’s a bit of anxiety. Despite careful vetting of a person’s background and financials, there’s always some unknown. Conducting a Mobile App inspection can ease that anxiety.

Using the RentCheck app (iOS and Google Play) will alleviate a lot of that new tenant stress.  Download the RentCheck app to inspect the condition of your property before the tenant moves in. All you have to do is enter in the property details and you can do the inspection yourself or invite your tenant to complete it themselves. The more you record about the unit’s condition, the better transparency you have when it comes to refund a security deposit. Using the app to inspect and document the unit—beginning with the front door—creates open communication between landlords and tenants.

The app is free to download. You begin at the front door, using your smartphone to take a time-stamped photograph of the door. Then move inside. Turn around, and do the same for the back of the door. Got the idea? You continue through the unit this way, room by room, methodically.

For example, let’s look at a kitchen. Here there are so many factors to consider. Document the condition of the every appliance. Start with the oven and stove. Do all the burners work? Are they clean? Are the knobs securely attached?  If there’s an exhaust fan, does it remove odors? Is the oven clean? Is there a functioning bulb in the oven light? Does the broiler work? If there’s a microwave above the unit, does it work? Is it clean? Inspect to protect!

The same goes for the refrigerator and freezer unit. Is it a self- defrosting unit? Is there an icemaker? A water filter?  The more photographs you take of your unit, the better the inspection, the better protection.

Is there a garbage disposal? Are there special rules regarding its use? Be sure to inform tenants about what can and cannot be put down the disposal. Don’t assume tenants know this!

Check for cracks in grouting and tile. Look at the floor—you’ll want to record areas that show more wear and tear than others or stains or scuff marks.  

You’re getting the hang of this inspection process. Continue through each room. Document how the windows look, if the screens and handles are in tact, and if there are any cracks. In the bathroom, be sure towel bars are solid. Check grouting, windows and floor. Turn on the shower and tub faucets and check for any leaks. Be sure hot water works.  Look behind the toilet and sink. Is there an exhaust fan? A heat lamp? Inspect to protect!

In bedrooms and living spaces, check and photograph the windows, floors, and ceilings. Open the closets and check that the bars are in place. Note the condition of the walls. Did you give the place a new coat of paint? Be sure to document that too. Examine every electric outlet and light fixture. Does the smoke detector work? In other words, leave nothing out! Inspect now means respect and protection later.

Landlords are quickly joining the RentCheck community. Jacob, a first-time landlord, was happy to have something that made the inspection process easy.  He lives above his tenant in a two-family unit. RentCheck included aspects of the apartment he hadn’t considered. He said: “RentCheck is very comprehensive. It gives landlords and tenants the sense that their investments are being taken seriously. It adds an element of transparency and security to the initial inspection that creates a foundation for a fair and respectful relationship.”

Others agree. Sonia, a long-term landlord who owns three small houses, conveyed her relief in having all the information in one place. “RentCheck is a virtual filing cabinet. It’s so much easier to store everything—especially the inspection—on an app than in folders that can get lost under piles of paper. RentCheck has made my life easier—and my office neater!”

Many landlords of course have horror stories of how tenants leave their properties. Tim and Harriet, co-owners of a six-unit property, recalled the filth and destruction of units over the years. 
“We easily lose a month’s rent just paying for clean up and repairs. RentCheck eliminates those excess and extra costs. RentCheck has also improved our relationships with our tenants.

Inspecting at move in protects you and the tenant from legal disputes concerning the condition of the property or the cost and responsibility for damages. Sure you could give them a checklist and a clipboard. But why rely on paper when everything can be done with your phones, shared electronically, and kept safe with the RentCheck app?

May you all rent in ☮️